Bruny Surin Discovers There’s No Love Lost In Tennis
Former Canadian track star Bruny Surin wasn’t too wild about the idea of his daughters trying to follow in his footsteps. So when his oldest girl showed an interest in tennis, he was all for it.
Now, he’s not so sure.
|COURTESY OF THE SURIN GROUP|
|Surin struts his stuff at a clothing launch last week in Montreal.|
“This tennis thing is so expensive, omigod,” Surin laughs over the phone last week. “What you’re going to pay for one year in track and field, that’s what I’m paying in three weeks with my daughters. That’s crazy.”
Surin chuckles again. That’s the thing about Surin. For the most part, even through all the various battles he had to fight in track and field including the ones with teammate Donovan Bailey, he always showed a great sense of humour.
But he finds nothing funny about the cut-throat attitude he’s seen in kids' tennis. His daughters, Kimberley-Ann, 15, and Katherine, 13, have made the the Quebec team and Kimberley has already been invited to train with the national team.
Surin said it’s been an eye-opening experience to see them rise through the ranks.
“When they started, my daughters were very behind the other girls,” said Surin. “They were friends with everybody. Everybody was friends with them. But as soon as my daughters improved ….
“I remember she came after one game she was crying. ‘What did I do? I don’t understand. My friend doesn’t want to talk with me anymore.’ Because that was the first time she beat her. And you know what? The parents wouldn’t even say ‘Hi’ to me anymore. I’m like ‘Okay, that’s the way it is, eh. That’s cool.’”
Surin said he’s resorted to wearing his ipod when he’s watching his girls play.
“I don’t want to hear any comments, I don’t know want to hear nothing.”
Surin is certainly a busy man these days, running his company, The Surin Group. He manages track and field athletes including Olympic bronze medallist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, has a supplement line (Xistence) and has just launched a clothing line that will be sold in the store L’Aubainerie.
Surin has been involved in creating his own supplements, an onerous job in these heavily regulated times and one he sometimes wishes he never started.
“I understand what Health Canada’s doing because people were putting anything on the market, but at the same time they made this regulation Health Canada didn’t have enough people to work on the process. It’s crazy.”
His next venture could be a franchise of boutique gyms that focus more on one-to-one coaching and proper follow-up. He’s got a partner with the money to invest in the venture. What he doesn’t have right now is the time.